Courage: "The quality of being brave; valor" (Websters dictionary).
Courage is an essential ingredient for a soccer player. It takes physical courage to challenge for the ball both in the air and on the ground. It takes mental and physical courage to stand in a wall to defend a free-kick, and it takes courage to endure difficult playing conditions such as extreme heat, extreme cold, rain, snow etc. We are often inspired by the courage of those who refuse to let their circumstances dominate their mindset. Courage is infectious and one of the most endearing of human qualities.
If we need an example of courage, we need look no further than the pages of Scripture. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-33, Paul describes some of the situations in which he found himself throughout his ministry...flogged, imprisoned, exposed to death, lashed, beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, spent nights in the open sea, hungry, cold, naked, thirsty, weak etc etc. And yet, in spite of such horrendous conditions, Paul was still able to say in Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord". Did we hear that? No matter what life threw at Paul, he had the confident (courageous) assurance that God was still in control of his life and that nothing could ever remove the love and grace that had been poured out to him.
That same confidence to face life courageously is available to all believers today. Like Paul, we are able to say, "We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37); like Peter, we can proclaim boldly the truth that Jesus is "The Christ, the Son of the living God"; and in the words of Jesus himself, we can be inspired to tackle each day with the peace and courage that only He can give, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).
Do you need courage today to stand up for your convictions, perhaps at the expense of friendships? Are you swimming against the tide of public opinion or are you having to resist peer group pressure to do something you know in your heart is against the Word of God? Do you need courage to confront sin in your own life or the lives of others around you? Be bold!! Scripture reminds us in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who can be against us"?
Be courageous ...be a light for Jesus and infect the lives of those around you with His awesome, sustaining power!
"The Lord is my strength and my shield"